robredo-crying1

ROBREDO SHOULD BE IN JAIL

 robredo aquino

The Comelec had been mum on the Robredo case for years more so at the time she was mentioned as Aquino’s pick for vice president. Did Aquino tell Comelec to throw the Robredo case into the dust bin?

FOR VIOLATION OF THE OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE

RIGOR ZABALA

LIBERAL Party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo may not be able to sit as vice president even if she wins in May if the Commission on Election (Comelec) finds her to have   illegally solicited and accepted campaign funds from foreign donors.

robredo crying

Robredo, in fact, could  have been already in jail and could not be campaigning as she does today for her vice presidential bid.

But Robredo is free, thanks to the Comelec which has not acted on a three-year old twin complaints which  charged the Camarines Sur representative of having received donations from 10 foreign contributors in the 2013 congressional race.

Do we see the hand of President Benigno Aquino, the chair of the Liberal Party, in this apparently deliberate  act by Comelec not to decide on the complaints against Robredo? We can only speculate given the fact  that Robredo is the ruling party’s bet for the vice presidency.

Without any takers, it took the Liberal Party too long to find a running mate to its standard bearer Mar Roxas.

At the end of the day, the ruling party picked Robredo even as she is facing charges for violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

The Comelec had been mum on the Robredo case for years more so at the time she was mentioned as Aquino’s pick for vice president. Did Aquino tell Comelec to throw the Robredo case into the dust bin?

Receiving campaign donations from foreigners is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

The Comelec has yet to decide on the two separate cases filed against Robredo in 2013 by former Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte and his wife Nelly.

Nelly Villafuerte ran but lost to Robredo in the 2013 Camarines Sur congressional derby.

The cases have sat in limbo  since the filing of the two cases shortly after the May 9, 2013 election.

Had the Comelec decided to give merit to the complaints of violation of the Omnibus Election Code, Robredo would have been disqualified to run for vice president in the 2016 election.

Nelly Villafuerte lamented that had the Comelec filed the case in court and found Robredo guilty, she would have been disqualified from holding public office and could have also served jail time.

But the woes of Robredo may not be over. The Villafuertes said they will pursue the case and prod Comelec to make a decision that kick out Robredo if she wins the vice presidential race.

The complaints against Robredo showed that she solicited and received campaign donations from at least seven American nationals, among them Loida Nicolas Lewis, and three American entities, said a report in The Standard.

According to Nelly Villafuerte who filed the first complaint, posts in Robredo’s social media account that detailed her contributors who were natural-born Americans or naturalized Americans, were among evidence that backed the complaints.

Among Robredo’s foreign donors were Edward Seidel, a natural-born American married to a Filipina, Lorna, who has also acquired her US citizenship; lawyer Rodel Rodis, the first Filipino-American to win an elective post in the United States; Robert Federigan; Robert Heiberger; Rainier Asprer; and Richard Sublett.

Nelly Villafuerte said that Robredo also named at least three foreign entities which contributed to her campaign: The Unlimited Agency, Inc., which was registered as a corporation on March 17, 1994 with registration no. 57729554 in the state of Illinois, USA; The Bicol USA of the Midwest, which was registered as a corporation in the State of Illinois, USA on Feb. 11, 2011, with registration no. 67779959; and Fundrazr, a website used to raise funds from anonymous donors abroad.

Fundrazr, is reportedly the flagship product of a company called Connection Point Systems, a privately owned and funded Canadian company, Villafuerte said.

Nelly Villafuerte also presented as proof the receipts of the donation from the foreign individuals and entities that were acknowledged by Robredo in her Facebook account.

The second complaint was filed by Luis Villafuerte, who accused Robredo of not reporting to the Comelec the names of those who actually contributed to her campaign fund.

Robredo executed a counter-affidavit disowning Lewis as her agent to solicit campaign funds but admitted Lewis turned over to her Lewis’ personal contributions and that no other contributions came from other foreign donors.

Robredo also denied knowledge of the existence of her own website and that it was only created under her name.

The Villafuertes said Lewis was born a Filipino but was an American citizen when she made her donation to Robredo, who thus violated the Omnibus Election Code.

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